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Player Diary: Giants CB Frank Walker
Of course I wanted to rush back, like almost every player does. But the doctors are not going to let you. The doctors will make the right decision for you. Sometimes players think with their heart and not their head and body when they're hurt. You always want to rush back and help the team, but you can really end up hurting them if you're not ready to go.
I came into camp wanting to be competitive like I've always been. You never want to feel relaxed; you always want to feel like you have something to prove. That goes no matter what you've done the season before, the game before or the day before.
I feel marvelous right now. I feel great. I'm all the way back. I feel great out there on the field. Aside from me getting called for pass interference - which comes from me being an aggressive corner - everything else is great out there for me. I was only out two-and-a-half weeks, so it's not like I got rusty or anything during that time.
Our coaches have been very satisfied with the way I've been playing. They just want me to be able to do it every time I'm called in. But for the most part, Tim Lewis and Ron Milus, my defensive backs coach, have been pleased. I've been doing well and doing what it takes to help the team win.
When you're playing nickel in the NFL you're probably playing 45 out of 60 snaps. You get a lot of playing time. A lot of NFL players say that being a nickel is really like being a starter because you get plenty of snaps a game.
Of course I want to be considered one of the starters. No one sets goals to be number two. If you do, you shouldn't be playing any sport, that's for sure. No one ever wants to take a back seat to anyone. I want to be the best at everything I do.
I feel better now that I'm in my second year, but I still feel like I have more plays in me. I'm just such a competitive guy; that's all I've ever been and that's all I've ever known.
I work hard in the offseason so I don't like falling into losses or big plays. Whenever anything goes wrong it really hurts me. It hurts me real bad to do anything wrong.
Just growing up my friends and me would always compete against each other, and I always won. I guess I developed my attitude then. It seems to have stuck with me.
I know that I carry myself a little different than most people do, but it's just how I am. I've been this way my whole life. Eyes have always been on me so that's nothing new.
I like to talk out there on the field, although for some reason I really haven't gotten into it with other players that much this season. I'm still playing the same way and trying to egg guys into it, but for whatever reason guys haven't been jumping into it headfirst like they usually do.
Last year, Steve Smith from Carolina and me went at it all game. That was probably my best jawing game ever. Sometimes I just make a tackle and make a play and start talking. It really just happens; it's not something that I rehearse.
I'm a risky corner, a gambler. It's either going to be zero or hero with me. I play very aggressively, and enjoy having fun and playing the game. For the most part, Coach Lewis tells me that if I'm going to go for the ball I better get it. That's helping me to be a better player. I don't get beat on as many double-moves because of that. His defense allows me to sit back and digest plays better instead of jumping at everything. He's taught me to pick and choose which ones to go after and which ones not to.
Coach Lewis has brought this defense together, making us play together as one. All of us have one heartbeat when we're out there on the field. He's been mixing it up and that's keeping other teams on their toes. Nobody knows what we're going to do next. That's a great thing that he brings to this team.
As for Coach Coughlin, I think Coach Coughlin is a great coach. Everyone said all this bad stuff, but it really didn't pan out to be like that. The only difference between Coach Coughlin and Coach Fassel is that Coach Coughlin instills a little more discipline. They're both great guys. All he did was practice us a different way, and put us on a different timing schedule. He wants to make everything right.
I think we're a good ball club, but there's always room for improvement. We're in the same spot we were at this point last year, but this year we're winning the close games that we lost at the beginning of the year last season. Coach Coughlin goes over situations every day in practice and those situations have been the ones we've been faced with and are a big reason why we've won those games.
We've still got a long ways to go here. Our main goal is to get to Jacksonville, the Super Bowl, and win it. Right now, we're taking each game at a time. I'm just focusing on this week's game, but the big picture is definitely Super Bowl.
Personally, all I want to do is help the team win. There's no 'I' in team and no 'me' in we. I'm always looking to do anything to help us create turnovers and win games.
One thing's that's been pretty cool this year is how I've connected with Michael Strahan. We sit right next to each other in the meetings. Getting to know him a whole lot better has been a good experience for me. He teaches me how to be a professional.
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